How Memory Works

Understanding how memory works can help you recognize how to improve your own memory and concentration.

Whether we are hearing, seeing, smelling, or doing, our memories work through four processes:

encoding

 

Encoding

Taking in new information

consolidating

 

Consolidating 

Stabilizing the new information

recording

 

Recording

Storing the information

retrieval

 

Retrieval  

Accessing the information when it's needed

We are most likely to remember things if they are:

  • Key information
  • Repeated
  • Required for use
  • Strikingly unusual

Memory is taking in, storing, and retrieving information. Next, explore how your habits impact this process.